Pesticides:

Comparison of U.S. and Mexican Pesticide Standards and Enforcement

RCED-92-140: Published: Jun 17, 1992. Publicly Released: Jul 9, 1992.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Peter F. Guerrero
(202) 512-4907
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined differences between U.S. and Mexican pesticide registration requirements, tolerance levels for food-use pesticides, and enforcement efforts.

GAO found that: (1) the United States and Mexico have similar requirements for pesticide registration and tolerance setting, but there are significant differences in tolerances for certain food-use pesticides; (2) both countries require pesticide registration applicants to provide extensive health and environmental information on pesticides proposed for food uses; (3) Mexico subjects Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved pesticides to less scrutiny, but sometimes requests additional pesticide data to account for Mexican climatic conditions; (4) U.S. and Mexican officials have formed a working group to address pesticide tolerance differences and set priorities; (5) the working group is not addressing pesticides for which both countries have set tolerances at different levels for the same commodities; and (6) while the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established a special monitoring program for imported Mexican produce, Mexico has limited monitoring capabilities and relies primarily on the private sector to monitor pesticide residues.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In February 1993, EPA met with Mexico's CICOPLAFEST, in what is known as the U.S.-Mexico working group, to continue efforts to resolve pesticide regulation differences between the two countries. According to FDA, the working group does not know when its task will be completed. The two countries are scheduled to meet again to resume their efforts. Since it appears at this time no further action is taking place, and the recommendation is over 2 years old, it should be closed at this time.

    Recommendation: To help ensure that pesticide tolerance differences between the United States and Mexico are kept at a reasonable minimum, the Administrator, EPA, and the Commissioner, FDA, should work with Mexican officials to develop a strategy for resolving, where possible, all types of pesticide differences. This strategy should also provide a long-term plan to deal with the continually changing field of pesticides.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services: Public Health Service: Food and Drug Administration

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In February 1993, EPA met with Mexico's CICOPLAFEST, in what is known as the U.S.-Mexico working group, to continue efforts to resolve pesticide regulation differences between the two countries. According to FDA, the working group does not know when its task will be completed. The two countries are scheduled to meet again to resume their efforts. Since it appears at this time no further action is taking place and the recommendation is over 2 years old, it should be closed at this time.

    Recommendation: To help ensure that pesticide tolerance differences between the United States and Mexico are kept at a reasonable minimum, the Administrator, EPA, and the Commissioner, FDA, should work with Mexican officials to develop a strategy for resolving, where possible, all types of pesticide differences. This strategy should also provide a long-term plan to deal with the continually changing field of pesticides.

    Agency Affected: Environmental Protection Agency

 

Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Sep 26, 2016

Aug 15, 2016

Jul 26, 2016

Jul 21, 2016

Jul 14, 2016

Jul 7, 2016

Jun 14, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here